TEN YEARS AFTER -  July to December



 SOUNDS  JULY  1,  1972   -   ALVIN LEE in the Talk-in






Alvin Lee had his producer’s hat on, in the studio doing overdubs and mixes for Ten Years After’s new album. It was late at night when we finally got down to the interview and it made a pleasant change to just sit down and talk rather than keep to the straight and narrow of questions and answers. What follows is basically what was on his mind that night, and obviously the most immediate thing was the new album. (Rock And Roll Music To The World)


Lee: That session we just heard happened in February in the South of France – we hired a big house there. It was an experiment really, an expensive experiment, but hopefully we’re going to get some good tracks out of it. We got the house and the Rolling Stones Mobile Recording Truck. We rehearsed for five days, and recorded for five. It was just to see if we could get a sound out of England, because we’ve never tried that before. Although we were going to record them we’re working on them as they are now, because they’ve got a sound we could never get again. We’ve got five tracks we’re considering using from there, and then another ten tracks we’ve just done back here; we’ll get rough mixes of them all and then decide which ones we want to use. It’s interesting, but it’s also a hustle this part of the album, because we’ve done all the recording and that’s really what counts, the performance with the whole band together. I can get into overdubs and put something here and something else there, it’s interesting but it doesn’t change the structure. The first track down is the one that counts really, no matter what you put down afterwards.


Steve: Do you find it difficult to change roles from musician to producer?

Alvin: Not really. I’ve always been into the recording side. I’ve got a natural leaning towards it anyway, so part of me enjoys that as much as the musician part enjoys playing…and anyway, I’ve always thought I want the records to come out as we, (the band) envision them. I found that another producer puts your ideas into bags, they hear something and say “yeah, but that would sound better with this and that”; if you play something that’s a little like soul stuff, a producer will tend to make it very soul, and put it into the whole soul bag, and the whole thing takes on another character altogether. We try and keep the basis of the jam and work on that.


Steve: That way you tend to be a bit inflexible about the way they’re turning out.

Alvin: Right. This way, it was the way the band interpreted the songs, which is where this album is hopefully at.

Steve: Is that something you haven’t felt able to do before?

Alvin: We’ve been able to do it before, but we’ve never actually tried. All our albums are experiments, but this time it’s come out a lot more rock and roll, more basic. We’ve got a lot more of the basic tracks without overdubs, about half of them haven’t been overdubbed.

Steve: With a much live-er feel to it.

Alvin: Yeah, all these numbers we could play on stage, that’s the difference. Before, I’d play a rhythm guitar all the way through and then overdub the solos, that’s the safest way of doing it. This way everybody has to be right at the same time, but you’ve got that counterpoint between the musicians which you can’t get when you start dubbing solos on.

Steve: Did you feel you’d gone as far as you could with that more complex approach to recording?

Alvin: Not really, but we all have different opinions on albums when we’ve finished them, and we learn things from them. And what we learned from the last album was we can play tuneful structures as well as rock and roll, which was really the idea of the last album. “Going Home”, had taken on a silly proportion by the side of everything we did through the Woodstock (1969) film. It was like our little splash of “Superstardom”, but we didn’t want it, we didn’t want it to be that uncontrolled and we didn’t want to get into something that hassled us, all the side issues. The kind of hassles the Rolling Stones get on tour are the kind of things we hope to avoid. We’ve never gone full-bore to be a phenomenon, a lot of people want to do that, be everywhere and do everything first. Quite honestly, that would break our band up, and breaks up most bands that try it, because basically we’re musicians and if things get too out of hand in that direction, there’d be no will to play. That’s what happens to a lot of bands, they just don’t want to work, because it’s more than just getting on stage and playing. If it gets like that, the people don’t come to listen half the time. We’ve done gigs in America where we’ve said, instead of doing two nights at a club in Boston, we’d do one night at a bigger hall. And then because the promoter has to sell 60,000 seats on one night, he super-hypes the advertising and in their own little way they try to make a phenomenon of the event. It never works for us, because you get all the noisy ones down the front, and the people who want to come and hear the music get hustled, they can’t see for people standing up at the front, and throwing Frisbees.


I think this is the inevitable problem that all bands face. In the days when we were travelling around in the van, we could blow a few gigs out, or fight with a manager of a place, and get banned from a whole round of breweries or something, it didn’t matter that much. But with concerts in the States, particularly, you’ve got really heavy things going on, with people jumping off balconies, people with ridicules motives wanting to jump on stage and shout down the microphones. Lines of police who usually aren’t in tune at all with what’s going on, and if they see someone standing up, their immediate reaction is to push them down again; you’ve got those kinds of hassles going on. It just makes you wonder what you’re doing it for. One gig we did, someone threw a bottle that hit my guitar neck, and I just put my guitar down and walked off, I just didn’t want to play. After about an hour we went on again, and it was cool, but I thought “What for, why travel all this way to play just for people to throw beer bottles”?

But it’s just that state of mind you get going on the road, it gets so intense. Also, before we go away on a tour, there’s always that paranoia about going away and wondering if I’m ever going to come back, there’s that to it as well. Then when you do come back, and take some time off, really lay back, then it’s just the absolute opposite. You get this kind of on/off relationship in your life; one minute you’re touring, and you really are a rock and roll band on the road, playing the part and being the part in every sense, and then you come back to a different reality, which is home and the different levels of that. But, if I take too long off, I find I get this intense urge to get back on the road again, and it’s all I can do really. I can get into photography. I can get into other things, but never having a trade, or anything, being only a musician, there’s nothing else to do. That’s why we’re interested in longevity and just producing music for as long as we can, not being a big name in the Daily Mirror or anything.


Steve: Do you regret that you made it as big as you did?

Alvin: No, because now I think it’s in control. The last album we did to counteract the “I’m Going Home” frenzy, and once we’d established that we can get back to this basic rock and roll thing, but it’s a little more laid-back, a little more structured, and for the mind as well as the boot.

Steve: And yet there are a lot of bands trying to break through to a large number of people at the moment. Why do you think it’s so difficult?

Alvin: I don’t know. To me there’s a sadness in it all because it seems that to break through now you’ve got to wear outrageous clothes, and have some outrageous gimmick, which is like back to ten years ago. It’s not all like that I suppose, there is some good music around, but I think relative to what “Underground” was then, folk music is now happening, there’s interest in it but it’s not big, it’s like a minority thing, for thinking people. It wouldn’t surprise me if that emerged, but then again, it might be a mistake for it to emerge, because then it would go the same way as all the other trends.

Steve: It might be safe because some of it emerged about a year ago as that kind of singer/songwriter explosion.

Alvin: Oh, that’s true, soft rock from the Americas. That’s almost on the level of, not music, but easy listening. You can’t be offended by all those soft rock kind of things, but then again, if you hear a lot together, you always get a bit thirsty to hear something with a harder structure. 

Steve: Do you think perhaps there’s too many musicians to go around at the moment?

Alvin: There’s too many musicians that’ll jump at anything to get going. I mean I always used to think in terms of teeny-bopper bands and real bands, I had a very black and white attitude, and I thought myself and a few other people were really trying to lay it down, and the rest were just in it for the bread (money). But you get to meet all these people, and they’re all really into it, but they’ll play anything until they get their thing together, or perhaps they’re saving up for equipment. They start realizing, that if they have the nerve to dye their hair ginger, do cartwheels across the stage, and set light to the organist, then something’s going to happen for them.



And this is the case, and it’s almost getting to the state of the Roman Games. I’m sure with Alice Cooper going around his --- what is it? A weird circus? That’s great, and I can dig the person who wants to go and see that, but its not very relevant to music at all, and the fact that they’re making music is almost just setting up sounds for them to freak out to. But then you’ve got Zappa, who appears to be doing that on the surface, but he’s doing incredible things musically. Entertainment is another thing entirely, but they fuse together in the minds of a lot of people. Four people performing music on stage is entertainment in itself, but after awhile it isn’t entertaining unless something happens, and unless it happens musically. It won’t happen visually, and I think visually is the easiest way to happen.

To my mind, the failure is when it happens visually, and doesn’t happen musically, but on the other hand, when it happens musically, it doesn’t happen visually, there’s an amount of failure in that also. I think light shows were my favourite era because whenever there was a light show, playing as long as it wasn’t hard strobes all the time, the audience could get off on the music, and watch the pulsations. I think that’s the nearest an observer can get to what the musician is doing himself, because you get that kind of light show in your head when you’re playing live and trying to break barriers as it were, within yourself. Whereas when you get spotlights or something at a gig … I mean I’m very aware that people refer to me as an “Ego-Tripper”, Pop-Star, Rock and Roll Star”, whatever and it really freaks me out because I’ve always tried to avoid that, and gone out of my way not to push myself out to the front. When someone says, “Here Comes Mr. Album Cover” or something, it really freaks me out, that’s the worst thing they could say. It’s the structure of the music that means something to me, and if I can gain a sympathy with an audience, an audience that’s getting off on the sounds, and if you see somebody just rise up out of their seat because they’re getting off on the sounds, on what they’re getting out of it, they don’t have to be listening to the notes, then that’s a really high compliment to the musicians.


When they’re all talking, and passing messages to each other, that isn’t a compliment, that’s just doing a gig. I couldn’t do that, and we try and avoid those, just keep it down to the music. I’ve seen bands suddenly take off and mentally they’re trying to suss what’s happening and why, and there are some people who can assess hit records and things and they can tell a hit when they hear it, but that to me is the “TIN PAN ALLEY” side of the business. It’s a very shallow motivation. You can do that for so long, dress up and everything, become big, famous and everyone’s attention is on you; but then you’ve got to continue being as bizarre and more bizarre, or you’ve got to get into something that makes sense, which has to be the music.


Steve: So when there are a lot of people doing it, the whole scene goes that way, people have to compete to be more bizarre. A showbiz spiral.

Alvin: Right, call it what you will, when the underground as such was “Underground”, I had a feeling that I was part of a group. I thought it was great, Notting Hill was where it was at for me, and when I went to the States, it was Greenwich Village. But what’s been happening is that the whole scene’s diversified, and there’s no scene left, and I’m wondering whether it ever was there or not, or whether it was just in my own head.  But then musicians would talk of good things and making the music they believed in. But now, you’ve got this whole element again of wearing pink socks and telling jokes, theatricals, which is a bit sad.


I’ve tried to reach some kind of ideology in life. I’m an opportunist, I’m not a power seeking ego-maniac or anything. I’m an opportunist, and if an opportunity arises for me to do something, I take it. I consider I’ve been really fortunate in achieving a state where I can have some freedom of thought and mind and on a physical level. But your ideology falls through because you can’t live an ideology on your own or just with a few people, and if you do, that you start living a fantasy, then something that’s connected with the real world or brings you down to earth becomes a bad trip, when in fact it’s just reality. So in the last year I’ve come down to earth again in my own head, still wondering where it’s all at. I haven’t reached any answers at all, and I can’t do all these songs about where it’s at, because I really don’t know, I’m as lost as anyone.


Steve: Do you feel you really have got that freedom?

Alvin: To a degree. We go on the road and work very hard, and then come off and there’s nothing to do, and it’s only because we want to work that we come back and work after four weeks, and there’s no one standing over us with hammers saying “Work”! But television really hampers me a lot, it’s always there and there’s always something that’s good enough to watch even though it doesn’t really do anything for you. Families used to all sit around and all play instruments, and that’s fantastic. I’d encourage that as much as I could.

But then I can’t even switch off a T.V. I always watch “Star Trek”. But I went through a very disillusioned state where I was waiting for some kind of explosion where everything would suddenly make sense, and there’s an awful lot of people looking for that in their different ways. It doesn’t come. I don’t really believe in anything unless I have proof, or anything relative to me, that it exist. I don’t say there is no God, but until I’ve had any experience of it for me there is no God. I met a guy who was intensely intellectual, who’d done everything I could possibly think of doing in his search for Nirvana. Yet on an animal level I could still relate quite normally to him, he was no different. And you get this feeling that what you set your sights on to make yourself something of essence, or something god-like doesn’t really exist because everybody is just a person, just an animal. That’s why I like this reality cause it makes a lot of things seem silly. It makes all the establishment and red tape and officials seem, not wrong, but irrelevant. If enough people get together and say “You Are Wrong”, They can have you put out of the way and be in the right, just because there were enough of them. But surrealism I think is an outlet when reality does that to you. I really dig Salvador Dali paintings, and it’s an alternative to anything I’ve ever known before.


But, you meet people and they go “Ah, far out”! and I think Christ, is this me? And then I flash back to the Marquee, and one night I was standing next to Eric Clapton and I wanted to say something to him, anything – That’s Unreal. It’s just fantasies, you don’t understand them, so anything that’s surrealism in a way in somebody’s mind.

But I can’t stand it happening to me, because it freaks me out. I met a guy in El Passo,  total freak, and he said, “Oh Wow, last time I saw you, you were playing and I was tripping, and you turned into a ball of fire and flew across the stage” and that kind of thing. What can you say to that?

Interview by Steve Peacock for Sounds Magazine





1972, July 20 - Swiss Magazine "Music Scene" Edition No. 7 

- Interview with Alvin Lee -

Many Thanks to Christoph Müller for his contribution


1972, (July 20  ?)  -  Alvin Lee playing sax with David Winthrop from SUPERTRAMP

(Many Thanks to Christoph Müller)



29 July, 1972 - New Musical Express - TYA FESTIVAL TOP






click photos to enlarge

Pop Magazine - 1972


Der Woodstock – Film porträtierte nicht nur eine erstaunliche Begebenheit unserer Generation, er etablierte gleichzeitig verschiedene der Interpreten zu Massenidolen wie einst symbolisch für die große Hollywoodära. So zum Beispiel Ten Years After mit Alvin Lee.

Eine amerikanische Zeitschrift nannte Alvin Mr. Album Cover, eine andere beschrieb ihn als Mick Jagger 1971. Auf dem kommerziellen Markt steht Ten Years After an der Spitze, die musikalische Darbietung der Band dagegen wird von Kritikern scharf  in Angriff genommen.

Alvin Lee Show, Superstar Alvin, und besonders die letzte England Tournee in ausschließlich ausverkauften Konzerthallen erhielt kaum ein anerkennendes Wort: die Rezensionen bemerkten eine angemessene Rockgruppe, weiter nichts. Andere Journalisten berichten fortwährend, dass die Gruppe demnächst auseinander geht, da Alvin die Starallüren zu Kopf gestiegen seien. Der enorme Erfolg hat jedoch Alvin auf keinen Fall verändert. Vor drei Jahren traf ich ihn kurz und war schon damals beeindruckt von seiner Höflichkeit. Als ich ihn kürzlich wieder traf, strafte er die unzähligen Gerüchte Lügen, er sei äußerst aggressiv, arrogant und sehr launisch. Alvins zweites Hobby nach der Musik sind technische Ausrüstungen. Er interessiert sich sehr für Fotographie (das Foto auf der Rückseite des Covers  von "A Space In Time"  stammt von ihm), und wir fachsimpelten eine ganze Weile über Tonbandgeräte. In seiner Wohnung hat er ein Studio eingerichtet, das ihm zu Demoaufnahmen und anderen Experimenten dient.

Alvin, blond, gut aussehend und groß, die Sonnenbräune von seinem letzten Aufenthalt in Hawaii noch nicht ganz verblasst, benahm sich (the perfect gentlemen). Immer wieder betonte er, dass er und Chick Churchill, Leo Lyons und Ric Lee sehr zufrieden und glücklich mit der gegenwärtigen Situation seien, keine Rede von einem Split.

"Vor drei Jahren existierten gewisse Differenzen, jeder diskutierte über eigene musikalische Vorstellungen. Diese natürliche Entwicklung entsteht bei verschiedenen Musikern, separaten Egos, aber wir kamen zu dem Beschluss, dass die Band erfolgreich sein soll, und das kommt nur zustande, wenn persönliche Meinungsverschiedenheiten gelöst sind. Es ist nicht allein meine Musik, jeder ist gleichviel daran beteiligt."

Alvin schreibt zwar die Songs, aber er diktiert nicht den anderen, was sie spielen sollen. Jeder interpretiert auf seine Art und als Ergebnis entsteht Ten Years After – Musik. Deshalb arbeitet Alvin auch nicht an einem heute schon fast unvermeidlichen Soloalbum. Er hat die Möglichkeit in Erwägung gezogen, aber ein Soloalbum ist ihm nicht wichtig.
"Für mich zählt nur unsere Musik, meine persönlichen Interessen möchte ich lieber privat halten. Zu Hause spiele ich für mich selbst oder auch für Freunde, aber ich würde diese Musik nicht auf Schallplatte bringen – sie ist einfach zu persönlich. Natürlich absorbiert die Ten Years After Musik viele persönliche Ideen und Emotionen von uns allen, daher würde ein Solowerk ungemein von Ten Years After detraktieren."
Alvin genießt das Medium Ten Years After, er glaubt, dass keiner in der Band wirklich verschiedene Auffassungen zu Musik besitzt und somit ein Soloalbum keinen Sinn aufweisen könnte. Nach Alvins Ansicht kommen Soloalben von frustrierten Musikern, die in ihren eigenen Bands keine Chance zum Ausdruck erhalten.

Zu Hause hört er kaum Rockmusik. Ich spiele gerne intensive (heavy) Musik, um eine Aggressivität loszulassen. Aber in seinen eigenen vier Wänden lauscht er klassischen Werken oder widmet sich weichen Melodien wie etwa Stephen Stills. "Ich betrachte unseren Rock als einen persönlichen Kunststil. Wenn ich zu viele Rockbands höre, werde ich von denen beeinflusst. Daher höre ich Musik zur Entspannung – bei Rock `n´ Roll bin ich technisch viel zu orientiert wie der Drummer arbeitet oder der Gitarrist improvisiert und kann daher die Musik wirklich nicht genießen."

Obwohl ihre Single „Love Like A Man“ ohne Schwierigkeiten die Top Ten erreichte, plant Ten Years After keinen Nachfolger.  Mit einer kommerziellen 3-Minuten-Single können wir schlecht unseren Stil präsentieren. Auf einem Album hingegen dürfen die Nummern gut fünf oder sechs Minuten lang sein. Wir improvisieren gerne und lassen dabei die Ideen langsam entwickeln. Bei einer Single fehlt dazu einfach die Zeit. Mit unserem Hit hatten wir auch nichts zu tun, die Plattenfirma veröffentlichte die Nummer, nahm sie von einem Album. Wir nahmen sie nicht als Single auf.

Den Titel Superstar nimmt Alvin weniger humorvoll  auf  sich: Ich singe und spiele die meisten Soli, daher fällt das Scheinwerferlicht offensichtlich auf mich. Ich wollte noch nie ein Superstar sein, bloß Musiker. Das Wort bedeutet gar nichts. Niemand hält sich ernsthaft für einen Superstar. Falls es doch so jemand gibt, dann stimmt etwas nicht in seinem Kopf.

Article by Margot








New Musical Express – July 29, 1972 – U.S. / Canada .50 cents


Reading bill toppers, new album in September

  Ten Years After make their first British appearance since January when they top the bill on the third and last night of the Reading Jazz, Blues and Rock Festival on Sunday, August 13.

It will be the first festival Ten Years After have played in this country since the Isle Of Wight in 1970, and something of a nostalgic gig. It was the 1967 Jazz and Blues Festival that first brought the band widespread popular acclaim.

This week, Ten Years After finished recording a new album to be released here by Chrysalis on September 15. Titled “Rock and Roll Music To The World” the album was recorded at Olympic Studios in London and on the Rolling Stones mobile van in the South of France.

Alvin Lee told New Music Express on Monday: “This album is leaning more towards rock n´ roll music, but rock in its American sense, and not the English interpretation, which means Chuck Berry.

“What we wanted to do with this LP was to find a natural music for Ten Years After, and that’s why two of the tracks were recorded in France on the Stones mobile. The tracks cut at Olympic have a natural feel too, we recorded most of them in one take so they have a lot more atmosphere and punch, rather than being as structured as “A Space In Time”. 


Reading Festival:

Complete Running order

Full Running Order for the National Jazz, Blues and Rock Festival at Reading on August 11th, 12th and 13th was announced this week. Twenty Nine Acts will be taking part in the event, and the days on which they will be appearing are as follows:

Friday: Curved Air, Mungo Jerry, Genesis, Pretty Things and Jackson Heights.

Saturday: Faces, Electric Light Orchestra, Focus, Edgar Broughton Band, If, Linda Lewis, Man, Jonathan Kelly, Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Brewers Droop, and the Johnny Otis Revue.

Sunday: Ten Years After, Quintessence, Roy Wood’s Wizard, Status Quo, Matching Mole, Vinegar Joe, Patto, Gillian McPherson, Solid Gold Cadillac, Stackridge, Sutherland Brothers, Cottonwood and Jericho.     




August 5, 1972 - Weekend Post, Cover,  Rock 72




Record  Mirror  Magazine  – August  5,  1972

The final line up for the 11th National Jazz and Blues Festival was announced last week.

To be held next weekend at the same Reading site used for last year’s event, the three day festival features some of the best British acts on the road at the moment.

Friday’s bill which starts at 4:00 pm stars Curved Air with Mungo Jerry, Genesis, Jackson Heights, Nazareth and Steamhamer. The following day The Faces top the bill in a programme that starts at noon which also features the Electric Light Orchestra, Focus, The Edgar Broughton Band, If, Linda Lewis, Man, and from America, The Johnny Otis Show. Jonathan Kelly completes the line up.

Sunday’s programme, which also starts at noon, stars Ten Years After, Status Quo, Quintessence, Roy Wood’s Wizard, Stray, Matching Mole, Vinegar Joe, Gillian McPherson, and Stackridge. Tickets for the whole weekend, which includes camping and car parking charges, cost three pounds twenty five and can be obtained “IN ADVANCE ONLY”, from

The National Jazz Festival Limited, 90 Wardour Street, W.1, or from any Keith Prowse Agency or Harlequin Record Shops. On the day, admission will be Friday, one pound; Saturday, one pound seventy five; and Sunday, one pound seventy five.





Record  Mirror  Magazine  –  August  12,  1972


No big American stars are going to fly down to the stage by helicopter (could you lure Bob Dylan out of his hideaway with a photo of Reading), but the 11th National Jazz and Blues Festival maintaining a traditional English flavour, looks like being a very fine example of just how good a festival can be within the confines of British talent.

The “Jazz and Blues part of the title can be totally ignored as far as classifying the music goes. But it does stand as a memorial to the long and honourable history of the event.

Originating as a “purist” event, the evolution of music into less strictly definable categories led to a change in emphasis, with such home-grown groups as Cream, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart, who had grown from roots in the blues, could play in front of a mass audience. The folk side was also well represented in emerging groups like Fairport Convention and The Pentangle, a new – styled synthesis of folk and jazz. Through an imaginative choice of bands, and generally enthusiastic audiences, The National Jazz And Blues Festivals of the mid-sixties became the forerunners of the massive pop festivals we know today. Their changes haven’t been just musical, the organisers have seen a lot of Southern England during their history, Richmond, Windsor, and Plumpton spring to mind, but the event has survived to become our oldest surviving popular music festival.

Tomorrow’s (Friday’s) bill has a nicely balanced contrast between the two top names; Curved Air are musically experimental and visually slick, while Mungo Jerry keep it simple and rocking. With names like Nazareth and Genesis on the rest of the Friday bill, foreign visitors might be forgiven for expecting a revivalist gospel show. We British chaps know better.

The other bands DO live up to their names with Steamhammer doubtless pounding away, and Jackson Heights probably adding to their considerable promise, as shown at Lincoln.  Any festival purporting to contain the best of English pop could hardly do without “The Faces”, but Saturday’s bill, which they top, is full of potential scene stealers. Most notably, there is the one American act in the show, The Johnny Otis Show, which ought to knock them back at Reading as they have been doing to club audiences. When The Three Tons Of Joy join the Otisettes and the whole band on stage, the organisers had better make sure their stage supports are firm.






11 - 12 - 13 August 1972 - 11th National Reading Festival












Alvin Lee Circa 1968, modelling the trousers made from his mother’s curtains –
“with those lamp shade frills round the bottom”.






Many Thanks to John Tsagas (a true TYA Fan from Greece)
for contributing the above photo from "Life Music" Magazine, Japan, 1972


Photographer: Fin Costello










Sunday, 13 August 1972 - Reading Festival   -   Photographer:  David Redfern


Photographer: Michael Putland




Stickers on Alvin's second Gibson ES335 Cherry Red



Stickers on Big Red, pop magazine, spring 1973







New Musical Express  -  August 19, 1972

Concert Review:

Ten Years After Reading Festival – Sunday August 13, 1972

After an inordinately long wait, during which the amount of amplification at the sides of the stage was doubled, modest little Alvin and the Three Stooges, better known as “Ten Years After, took the stage and commenced to rock. Alvin has eased off the “Captain Speed Fingers” trip and they’ve apparently made enough money to buy Chick Churchill an amplifier. Half the time though it was genuinely impossible to tell whether he was actually playing or not, and he spent much of the set wandering disconsolately about, pushing his hair back and trying to decide which one of his inaudible keyboards to play next. When he actually did manage to get off an organ solo – ( on “Standing At The Station”) he was excellent, full of ideas and executing them admirably. More Please. For my money, he (Chick) is both a more interesting and more exciting soloist, than Lee, though less spectacular.

Leo Lyons, kept pace all the way through, whipping out those pumping style, and Ric Lee played his usual (Hobbit) drum solo. Alvin played some nice guitar, particularly on “Turned Off T.V. Blues”- but the band seem trapped by their myth to a rather lamentable extent. Their version of Al Kooper’s “I Can’t Keep From Crying” was identical to their performance of it at “The Isle Of Wight Festival” (immortalised on the triple album set of – The Isle Of Wight Festival and The Atlanta Pop Festivals). Even the quotes from “Stepping Out”, “Sunshine Of Your Love”, “Foxy Lady”,  “Cat Squirrel”, “Smokestack Lightnin´” and “You Don’t Love Me” came in the same order. The material from their new album, “Rock And Roll Music To The World” went down well, but what left a sour taste. Was that as they (TYA) insisted on doing a full two hour set, despite their delay in getting on stage, “Quintessence” were unable to do their set.



  Notes for Ten Years After Live At Reading.

The band played there twice,  on August 13, 1972 and again on August 28, 1983.


“The Reading Report” – Ten Years After Play The 1972 Reading Festival:

The Bill Toppers, Ten Years After played late on Sunday evening. It was their first appearance in Britain since January, and their first British Festival since the Isle Of Wight in 1970. However, for all the time Ten Years After have been out of ear shot, their audience seemed less enthusiastic about the group’s return than you might have expected.

It could be that they stayed away just that bit too long, at least long enough for the fickle public to latch onto heroes other than Alvin Lee.

As a stage spectacle, Ten Years After are quite impressive and whatever your opinions of Alvin Lee musician, you have to admit that he’s one of the precious few good rock `n´ roll showmen ever to have come out of this country (England).

Musically, Ten Years After don’t wander far from the kind of raunchy riff which earned them their first fans some years back, and in this respect, they could possibly afford to open up a little, maybe by more use of Chick Churchill’s fine organ playing, to add more light and shade into the act. Anyway, few left for home feeling that depressed of feeling, that they’d wasted time and good money. A good festival, and without doubt, the best this year so far.

 Article by Ray Telford




September 1972 - Swiss Magazine POP




Melody Maker  16 / 9 / 72  

Alvin Lee Talks About: 

The New Ten Years After Album "Rock and Roll Music to the World "


Alvin Lee accepts abuse with equanimity, or so it appears. He has received slightly more than his fair share over the years. And while he tends to smile philosophically after being berated, those close to him reveal that the barbs of critics hurt him just as much as the next rock n’ roll super star. The barbs have been shot at a man whose band has been a shade too popular to be good for him, and whose guitar technique is a mite too nifty to be healthy. The blast has come because Ten Years After are not the world’s GREATEST little rock and roll band, even though they were one of the stars of Woodstock, the movie and the festival.  

They have their faults, but if they have been guilty of selling their image too hard, then it becomes a minor offence when one compares them to some of the current visions emerging on the platforms of rock. Where one can fault Ten Years After is not on grounds of exaggerated self-importance . No one who knows Alvin Lee, Chick Churchill, Ric Lee or Leo Lyons, would accuse them of being egotists. Their problem has been to establish a stronger musical identity for the band, other than as a showcase for fast Moving guitar work. Their albums from “Sssh” onwards have tried to break out and develop, but they have rarely produced exceptional original material.  

As sidemen Chick on organ, Ric on drums and Leo on bass have not shone as brightly as Alvin. But Ten Years After have stuck together. And that is because they enjoy being together and in consequence have become one of the longest surviving British bands. Alvin’s personal problem has been a shyness an inability to mix with fellow musicians and the music scene. While other guitarist and singers gaily leap from group to group guest on albums, jam in clubs and rave at the discos, Alvin fronts his group, then returns to a country retreat. But now he is within an ace of solving one problem and he is working on the other. For Ten Years After have recorded an album that ignores the passions of fashion , and simply represents what they do best---a little rock, a modicum of roll, and the blues.  

The new Ten Years After album is called “Rock And Roll Music To The World,” as is certainly their best since “Undead.” Although not a “live” album it was cut on the Stones’ mobile unit in France and gives TYA a spontaneity and brilliance that has been lacking on previous albums.   

More surprising has been Alvin’s determination to get out and blow in different environments. He has been recording at a friend’s home studio with American gospel singer Mylon LeFevre , and guitarist Steve Sanders, both from Georgia. Mylon and Steve have been staying at Alvin’s home, a Tudor house, set in spacious grounds, once isolated from the world, but suddenly threatened by massive motor way works which tear through the soil a few hundred yards away. Alvin is so keen to jam that he even purchased a minibus in which he can drive his musicians around if  they are stuck for transport. “I used to drive Ten Years After around when we first started,” he revealed sitting in the low-beamed lounge surrounded by toys, gadgets and guitars. “I used to drive to London before they built the M1. Because I did the  driving, the others had to unload, although Leo used to pretend he was the manager. “He’d ring up after a gig and ask how we had gone down. “Mr Lyons the manager here. Were the group to your satisfaction’?” Alvin laughed at the memories stirred by the sight of the white Commer parked on the gravel drive. Once they were the chief group transporters, before the mighty Transit took the road.  “I only bought it yesterday. You know, it’s almost therapeutic when a group travels together in a van. It’s like being married. You get downs and ups, but if you don’t travel together you don’t know each other or play together.  

On our last European tour we shared a bus with Patto and they are an incredible band and incredible People. We all had a great time on that tour.” But how will Alvin use his new van? “Oh, if I’m going to a session in London, or if I have to pick up a drummer for  a rehearsal. They always have transport problems. It will also help me to keep my driving down to a reasonable speed, as I’ve got two endorsements driving my Jaguar. I’ve got a Triumph TR3 as well, and I wouldn’t part with it, but it’s a real bone shaker.”  

Who has Alvin been jamming with? “This guy called Mylon from Georgia. He’s asleep upstairs at the moment. He’s a gospel singer from Macon. He used to have his own big band, a 13 piece. We did some gigs with him in the States , and his band was incredible, although it never took off.  His music has got that laid back beat and it’s much less frantic than what I have been playing. I’ve been really enjoying playing. That style, and I’ve become a lot more relaxed. “We’ve been recording with Ian Wallace on drums from King Crimson. He’s incredible And we had B.J. Wilson on drums from Procol  for a couple of tracks. Leo played bass and although nobody has heard of any of the numbers, it really slotted together well.”  

Alvin thought it was time to wake up Mylon, as it was around 4 pm and he removed a hunting horn from the fireplace. He gave a deafening blast and the distinctive moan of a gospel singer from Georgia filtered  from the minstrel gallery overhead. Alvin acknowledged the moan with a cry of “Noy!”  “That’s the Patto group call. You’ll hear that a lot if Patto are around.” It seemed a fair warning.  

Mylon lurched downstairs, a young American with quite a bit of hair around his face, blessed with a beautiful drawl that made Bonnie Bramlett sound like John Cleese. “This is Mylon,” said Alvin with some pride. “We really got off on his music in the States. When he sings about the south bound train for Tallahassee it’s all real. When I sing, it’s only how I IMAGINE it all. It’s probably only psychological, but it gives you the feeling it’s all right to sing the blues when Mylon is around.” But how did Alvin relate Ten Years After to his new friends. Presumably the band would continue? “Sure---right. Ten Years After has become itself. The music is an amalgamation of all four of us. On the next LP we strived to make it natural music from the band with nothing different, just for the sake of it. It’s more of a rock album. The music of Ten Years After is pretty hard rock, but my listening tastes have mellowed. I like Stephen Stills and Poco  and I figured it would be nice to play that way as well. And I’m particularly interested in meeting other musicians and jamming, although I’d never felt like it before.”  

“You see, I had a socialising problem. The music business should be like a big club. On the surface  it is but relationships don’t go deeper unless you work at it. And that’s what I’m doing, and it’s widening my horizons a lot.  I take other people’s music a lot more seriously. I’d be into any music outside of what we were doing if it was ”heavy” and progressive on the albums. We always like to end our sets with some rock but we wanted to try and do something else as well, so that people could hear a bit of everything. “We recorded the new album in a chateau in France. We did five days rehearsal then spent five days with the Stones’ mobile. At the time we thought the results hadn’t been that good, and the experiment hadn’t worked. But when we got the tapes together, it sounded really good. It’s captured an atmosphere on record that we have never got before. Like, the drums were just set up in a room lined with marble, and the drums got a bright sound you couldn’t repeat in studio conditions.”  

While Alvin is pleased with the new TYA album he admitted he had been itching to try something new. “Everybody enjoys playing with different musicians from time to time and after awhile a regular group does become like work, when you earn your living from it. And then it becomes harder to find really new things.” By now Mylon was beginning to open his eyes to the fading afternoon light. How did he meet up with Alvin? “We met about two and half years ago in New York. I had a band called Holy Smoke and we jammed together. Alvin told me to call up anytime I came over to England and me and Steve came over about six weeks ago. I quite the road last December. We only had 91 days off in two and half years, and it was getting hard. We were a 13-piece band, and we worked all over the States.” Mylon has a couple of fine albums to his credit, including one on the Cotillion label, produced by his friend Allen Toussaint, famed for his association with Lee Dorsey. Mylon has been managed by Felix Pappallardi, and has also recorded with Little Richard. He has an open soulful vocal style. The recordings that Alvin and Mylon have made together are a revelation.  

Although only rough mixes from a home studio, the tracks they played sounded like a gold album, with Alvin emerging in a startling new light. The two seem to have a good effect on each other. Said Mylon: “We’ve done about five or six songs together. I was up at 5 am writing. In fact yesterday was one of the best days in my life.” He grinned  with pleasure at Alvin as the tapes began to roll, while Steve shook his head, uttering a soft “wow” as Alvin’s guitar pushed along the vocals. The first number “It Ain’t Easy,” showed Alvin in a completely different light, far away from his usual jet propelled style. Rich, mellow chords and an easy country feel prevailed, but even so, his remarkable technique marked him as a guitarist of distinction.  

“This is all original music,”  said Steve. “I just play  rhythm guitar and sing the back up vocals, but we all believe in it. Alvin plays some guitar on this that kills me.” There was some more fine playing on “Starry Eyed Child” and “One More Chance,” all with a relaxed down home beat, that recalled the Band or the Byrds. Did Alvin sing on any of the tracks? “No, faced with that Georgia accent, I don’t make it. Mylon wants to take this eight track recording back to Georgia and get it transferred to a 16 track. Then I’ll go over there with Leo and finish it off.” 

Next Alvin played the new Ten Years After album “Rock And Roll Music To The World,” which is due out tomorrow (Friday). And the band sounded much better for their fresh, frank approach. The tunes concentrate on a solid rock beat, mixed with some rave-ups like “Choo Choo Mama.” “We kept it all very basic,” said Alvin, “but there are some really good solos from Chick. Listen to this one on ‘Standing At The Station.’ It took nearly six hours to mix the Moog synthesiser and organ tracks together. As Alvin blew some tremendously exciting guitar solos, particularly on “Station,” which climaxes with an express train thundering across the speakers, it seemed this will prove the best album TYA have produced. “The first two albums we did were representative of how we played at the time. ‘Stonehenge,’ the third one was influenced by flower power, and the others were aimed to be progressive. This is just how we are now.”    

By Chris Welch







Ten Years After Autumn Tour in Germany

September 11, 1972 



TEN YEARS AFTER in Düsseldorf Germany 1972 
From  Disc Magazine  -  September 23, 1972   


  DÜSSELDORF: Day two in Ten Years After’s German tour. Having flown in from Bremen, driven from the airport to hotel; to backstage the long wait continues to get onstage, and actually fulfil the purpose of the whole exercise.

  Until you go on tour the word “wait” doesn’t really mean too much-on the road it takes on a whole new significance. You wait in airport lounges, outside airports for the coach, in hotel lobbies, in draughty backstage corridors or backstage in a world of wires and harassed roadies. Then after the gig you wait and wait until the crowds clear and the band can escape safely.

  The arrival at the Essen gig from Düsseldorf was nothing short of spectacular when the bus bearing us all swished in to the stage door, all lights blazing so that every kid outside the building swarmed round leaving you to swim for your life through a sea of people. But Ten Years After are seasoned tourers and nothing seems to worry them; after fifteen tours of America and still sane they obviously can’t allow anything to.

  We arrive at the Essen Grugahalle as the band Stray reach the end of a good set ( they’re on tour with TYA). The bands five tons of equipment has mostly been set up by their small army of roadies who dance by the side of the stage at their more ecstatic moments. The band is fairly wary of Essen – last time they played there, a crowd of 3,000 outside the building, broke in through the windows to see the gig for free and TYA had to foot the glass bill. Already one of the crowd outside has broken a window, but rumour has it he was apprehended shortly after the heinous offence.

  Part one of the long dressing room vigil begins, sitting around in a monastic cell of a room on hard plastic chairs drinking beer and coke. Down below the window, a  rousing sing-song is in progress by those who refuse to pay to get in.

The German audiences are currently on a big free gig kick, and although the promoter lowered his original ten marks a head to ten marks per couple to entice the final few in, they remained adamantly singing in perverse two part harmony down below, handing out showers of Jesus Freaks literature.  


  Back in the dressing room Ric Lee—who by any normal human standards should be throwing up his phenomenally large supper, is reminiscing about the two gigs the band did a great many years back when Ric tied sparklers to his drumsticks and Alvin played his guitar with one when the lights were down. Although it was very effective in practice, they couldn’t get them lit on the night and were left to play in total darkness.

  Alvin is expecting Steve Ellis and American singer Mylon, to join the tour tomorrow. He, Leo and Ian Wallace have all been doing sessions with Mylon at Roger Daltrey’s  home studio and hope to release the results as an album sometime.

  Ten Years After’s next album is just out called “Rock and Roll Music to the World.” It is their first in almost a year and some tracks are from their experimenting in the South of France with the Rolling Stones mobile unit in February. “We hired a house just to see if it would be different from going to the studios everyday in London. “This new album is more of a rock album than any of the others, and we’ve tried to get a much more live sound. It’s worried us in the past that the albums have been very different from the stage act and it’s taken us a long time to work out why. “We used to use the stage equipment in the studio but we found it was so loud we had to turn it down so it wasn’t making any distinction, it was too clean and clinical. The secret is to have much smaller equipment turned up full.

“The last album was more songs and melodies. That was because before that it was the Woodstock aftermath that featured on “Going Home” and we thought we’d get away from that for awhile just to show we could play other stuff because a lot of people just picked up on Woodstock. So we did a structured album to show there was another side of us and now we thought we’d go back to rock again.”  

  Recently TYA came round to thinking they might do a single, because the singles market seemed so much less “poppy” than it used to, but when their record company told them it had to be two minutes long, Alvin told them to forget it. Another reason they had steered clear of singles was that they were frightened of a flash in the pan , non lasting success. “The only time concerts are threatened is when you get a hit record or are in a film or you become the darling of the “Daily Mirror.” I think Marc Bolan and David Bowie will realise it sooner or later.

  The band do their 16th tour of America shortly. They are still a dazzling success out there and don’t seem to diminish at all.  Even to the extent that Alvin was offered $3,000 to do a toothpaste ad the last time he was there. The offer he said was tempting, but the thought of getting off the plane to be confronted by his own  giant image wasn’t.  The whole group has also been offered a variety of awful film roles, one of the themes was of an English rock band going to America in search of Robert Johnson, getting busted and sent to jail. Alvin is freed by a beautiful girl in a white Cadillac, and when they turned down the script, the guy re-wrote it and returned it nine months later. “We’d do it if something good turned up, but I’m still involved with making my own movies and want to do one about my own environment.”  


  Meanwhile back in the dressing room the roadies have finally finished setting up and it is time to go on. Stray had a bit of electrical trouble with their set, and when TYA get on Alvin’s mike fails within seconds. The audience still annoyed from waiting an hour between groups, starts whistling and shouting. More trouble as the lights fuse (dim) the mikes and the circuit is clearly under pressure. They do a quick “jam” to drown some of the noise. Finally after shouting at the lights people and a worried German called Manfred Lurch (who had previously confided in the dressing room that he saw falling trees and white rabbits dancing in the road when ever he was tired ), the show got underway.

  The band played a mixture of old things, stuff from the new album, an Al Kooper number and ended with Rock-n-Roll encores. As a band they’re playing well together, these days better than when I last saw them.  The empathy between Alvin, Ric and Leo nowadays seems to be amazing especially with Alvin and Leo. Unfortunately the organ just doesn’t feature dominantly enough in most of the numbers and seems rather superfluous. When Chick does do a more featured solo such as “Standing At The Station” he’s really good. Ric Lee’s drum solo was a little too prolonged , especially with the audience in its edgy mood.

But honours have to go to Alvin and Leo for their lovely intertwined  guitar work. Alvin’s crystal clear style is still good although he does tend to shape each number rather the same---soft start, crescendo, climax, end. A heavy number  alternated with a lighter thing would perhaps be a better substitute. Leo is getting better and better as an inventive bass player.

  By the end of the show the audience is frenzied and scaling the enormous crash barrier, there are about three or four thousand in the hall. Someone about three rows back has an arm in plaster but nonetheless waves it ceaselessly. There are two encores.

  Then another endless wait in the dressing-cell for the crowds to disperse so we can escape to the hotel. Then another wait at the hotel for food at 3 am and the thought that the whole process is repeated tomorrow and the next day and the next day…….  





Sounds Magazine – September 23, 1972


Leo Lyons is sitting in the dressing room of the Stadthalle in Bremen, back resting on the metal lockers that run along two of the four walls, applying mentholated spirit to the tips of his fingers from a tiny plastic bottle that accompanies him on every gig. 

Ten Years After are on the first of a week of gigs through Germany and Austria and bassist Leo wiles away the boredom before their set running through a sound check with Alvin Lee.

Toughening up the fingers of his right hand and sampling the odd bottle from a crate of Coca-Cola and beer resting on the bare dressing room table. Like most “artists” rooms, whether you’re headlining or just a bottom bill support band, this one’s empty, (apart from tubular chairs and a couple of tables), without character and nestles under the banking of the cycle track which is housed in the Stadthalle.

 Bad Press:

This tour promises to be an important one for Ten Years After, important as it’s followed closely by two tours of America (making their US tours total around seventeen), and the first time they’ve played since the Reading Festival where they enjoyed three encores and a barrage of bad press. Strangely, Ten Years After are one British band that have never really enjoyed good Press reaction since their start around six years ago. They’ve almost always sent the fans home smiling, but have had to scrimp around foe whatever rave reviews were going.

Reading was a prime example and as a result, Ten Years After were hurt by what the music Press had to say. But their problem is almost certainly a question of image. It’s an image that was basically built up in America where image is all important and ability secondary in most of their Press, the idea of Alvin Lee “fastest” or the “greatest” guitarist alive, both ridicules observations about any musician and certainly an image that Alvin himself has never tried to foster. And again their “Woodstock” appearance, which reached millions via cinema screening, has meant that they are almost duty bound to play “Goin´ Home” on every gig since, thus having one foot too firmly planted in their past. Therefore, every time he steps on stage, some of the Press inevitably are saying, “OK let’s see what the greatest guitarist around can do”, and of course if he doesn’t shape up the reviews reflect badly. And while Ten Years After aren’t naïve enough to believe that what the Press say is taken as gospel, how about the people weren’t at Reading? They have no way of gauging the band’s performance, other than what they read and Ten Years After are certain it wasn’t a fair representation of what their gig was like. But Reading’s over, and Leo, Chick Churchill, Alvin Lee and Ric Lee file out from the dressing room in the long walk to the stage. In the stadium itself, the crash barriers are pressed tight against the stage surround as more fight their way down to the front. The wooden banked walls stretch up steeply with rows of seats around their edge.

The Stadthalle’s capacity is 5,000 but nearer 4,000 look to be in attendance. Stray, who are accompanying  Ten Years After, have left the stage heavy with smoke from their exploding odds and ends and the audience is in a good mood for moving around a bit. Without the slightest sign of fuss, Ten Years After are on and Alvin announces “One Of These Days”, which drives really hard for an opening number, guitar and tough harp from Alvin who confesses after “You Give Me Loving”, the next number, “Three wrong notes there”. “Loving” has Chick playing stabbing, authoritative organ which conjure up shades of Santana with a close jazz / rock feel that was Ten Years After’s trademark in their early years. “Here’s another one you might remember”, announces Alvin, before launching into “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, rubbing his guitar across the microphone stand, which brings a roar from the crowds who clap along in time while Alvin and the remarkable Leo rustle up a rocking little jam in the middle of the stage, backed by the barest percussive rhythm from Ric. During the next number the stage monitors blow and Alvin attempts to explain to the audience that: “We’re going to jam until the system comes on”. During this jam, Ten Years After really work up a sweat playing hard for a four-piece with Leo’s bass making it tough for anyone else to compete, even Alvin’s nice laid back guitar breaks. “Standing At The Station” shows a slower, less rock based opening and this slightly subdued angle lends itself well to Chick’s organ solo, but the audience seem to be willing the band for more speed and during the next number are chanting for “Going Home”. From the side of the stage, the sound doesn’t seem too good, only snatches of Alvin’s vocals filter across and the organ seems to be on top of Leo’s bass for much of the set. But a change of position only reverses the dominance and the hall’s acoustics banked wooden walls and a very hollow sounding stage don’t seem to be helping too much.


“I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” seems to have the right sort of rhythms to complement Ten Years After’s skills to the fullest. The many changes in texture is a nice relief from the frantic, non-stop raving of the faster numbers and while it grows to encompass almost every sort of music the band can play. It’s a refreshing fifteen minutes in the set.

The number runs on and on and things are really roasting by the end. “Goin´ Home” follows as everyone knows it must, and again it’s Leo Lyons, his head shaking about like a rag doll, who’s plugging in those thick bass lines while Chick leaves his keyboards to play congas on the edge of the stage. Two encores follow, Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen”, and

“Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock And Roll You”, and over zealous actions of the lighting man leaves Ten Years After in mid-exit as the house lights go up, and for a minute they’re all frozen in slight embarrassment while the audience anticipates something to follow.

Back in the dressing room there they sit around one of the tables, discussing the set. Dissatisfied with the sound on stage Alvin believes it wasn’t a very good gig at all.

Ric Lee asks what everyone else thought and the whole band are genuinely interested in outside opinions or criticisms. 


But they’re not too despondent, even Chick who admits that his fingers were too stiff after such a long layoff. They must get better is the general opinion, but the real test will be when they listen critically to the tapes of the gig. Every Ten Years After gig is taped and everyone’s eager to see who did what wrong and where. Overall, the show was a good one. Ten Years After aren’t into any real stage showmanship like Bowie, Bolan or Slade, and this is something which audiences, both at home and abroad are aware of. The Bremen gig appeared to go from frenzied number to the next and the definite lack of light and shade in the overall act left a void.

Ten Years After have been together, without personnel change, for an awful long time now, and this, plus the upsurge of theatrics around them, might cause the non-Ten Years After fan to view the band in a rather dull light, but from this gig (and the following day in Essen) it’s obvious that they are still one of the leading rock and roll bands in the world, warts and all.

The “trial” by tape that evening, or was it early the next morning, proved to be a release for Ten Years After. The sound was a vast improvement from the expected and everything looked rosier for their next gig at the 8,000 capacity Grugahalle in Essen. But, Essen had unhappy associations for the band who’d ben landed for a bill from the German authorities the last time they played there. Fans, who felt they were entitled to hear them play without paying, smashed windows and broke down doors to the hall and Ten Years After were forced into settling the bill which ran into a couple of thousand pounds. Essen proved to be a headache again and after the first number, the power failed. For the next few minutes, while Ten Years After roadies, (Andy, John and the two Jacks) rushed around the back of the Grugahalle’s huge stage, the band trickled behind the PA for a quick swig at their bottles or a drag.


The on-off merry-go-round dragged on and the stage lighting seemed to be affecting the sound system too, and the audience began to get a little restless. But, “You Give Me Loving”, a track from the band’s new album settled things, before it got out of hand and they were on their way again. “School Girl”, “Rock and Roll Music To The World” (the new LP’s title track), “Essen Express” with one of the fiercest drum solos you’ll ever see, followed by “Standing At The Station” all thundered along, pushing the pace up and up. Then like an oasis in the Sahara, “Turned Off T.V. Blues” drifted slowly from the PA. It seemed to be just the right tempo to show Ten Years After at their best and influences and images aside, Alvin played some beautifully restrained guitar during this number and the rest of the band showed up equally well. Through two more numbers (including “Goin´ Home) and the same two encores as in Bremen and it’s over for another night, but this time a little happier and with hands full of concerts to come Ten Years After are warming very nicely.


The shouts of “noch-einmal-noch-einmal-noch- einmal”, (once again / one more time) are still ringing through the hall, as Ten Years After reach their dressing room. These crowds see Ten Years After as an honest to goodness rock and roll band for the people, but can the band themselves – see themselves as this alone forever? To the audience the frenzy that accompanied Ten Years After’s set, and the inclusion of “Goin´ Home” was enough, but will it continue to be enough for the band themselves? They know the score and having almost reached the peak of their R & R performances don’t be surprised if there’s a change (but not a drastic change) in Ten Years After’s music. Thing’s are softening up these days, and Ten Years After might just get a little softer themselves.


Sounds  -  September  23,  1972



New  Musical  Express  September  23,  1972



September 26, 1972 – Ten Years After – Maple Leaf Gardens Toronto, Canada

On the bill or: Edger Winter and Frampton’s Camel

Ten Years After Set List: One Of These Days – You Give Me Loving  - Good Morning Little School Girl –
Rock and Roll Music To The World - Hobbit – Standing At The Station – Turned Off T.V. Blues - I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes – I’m Going Home – Choo-Choo-Mama








New Musical Express – September 30, 1972 

Ten Years After – Take Their Music to the World

The Concert Hall Vienna: In a city whose history is deeply rooted in classical music, three faded portraits hang on the dressing room wall. One of them is Richard Wagner. Another is Franz Liszt. And the other…? Nobody quite knows, but then nobody cares much either, as most of the room’s attention is focused on Alvin Lee, tuning up his big, red, Gibson guitar and preparing to shake the walls of the ancient hall  with some of that ear-splitting,

Ten Years After style of rock and roll. Neither the concert hall or Vienna for that matter, are exactly used to rock concerts. Even though it is a major European city, surprisingly, few bands make a stop here on Continental tours, and the result is that when a band does play, everybody tends to over react. Outside, for instance, the local forces of law and order have just arrested twenty kids even before the doors opened. While inside, the hall manager is still uptight from the night before when, with the band on stage, the audience got out of their seats, boogied a little, and broke a few chairs in the process. Tonight, while the support band “Stray” play the first half, and Alvin and the others prepare to go on stage, the man’s paranoia increases. He anticipates, and quite rightly, that in the second half, the crowd might commit the ultimate sin of enjoying themselves, and then maybe…horrors…they get out of their seats and dance. He wouldn’t have much sympathy, for a line in one of Alvin Lee’s songs, that goes, “give peace a chance…get up and dance…while I sing rock and music to the world”.

Anyway, as he rushes around the backstage corridors, giving futile last minute orders, back in the dressing room the atmosphere is calm. Alvin Lee continues tuning, Chick Churchill watches and waits, Leo Lyons rubs methyl ate spirit into (onto) the tips of his fingers and Ric Lee cracks endless jokes. It’s obvious that after so many years on the road, (including an amazing fifteen tours of the States) Ten Years After have touring down to a fine art. All right, so there’s a few cases (crates) of beer around, and a couple of chicks who might turn out to be groupies, but mostly there’s no big deal, no hassles. Everything’s Cool. Genuinely, all their thoughts seem to be focused on getting on stage and playing at their best, and Alvin Lee admits, that he’s pleased that he doesn’t have to worry about putting on a show, as such…

A presentation of the type more expected from the likes of David Bowie or Slade.

“I think if we’re to get any satisfaction at all, its got to come from the musical side,” he said.

“It would be a limitation for me to have to think about doing shows, rather than just play the guitar. “Personally, I don’t think we would have gone on as long as we have, if we hadn’t just concentrated on the music. “And I feel sorry for the bands that put themselves in the position of having to do performances. I feel really happy, that all we have to do, is go on and play well”. Certainly the lack of any “show” as such, didn’t worry the 1,500 or so people who packed the concert hall and let out a bellowing Cup Final Cheer when Ten Years After took the stage and drove almost straight into, “One Of These Days”. As Alvin pouted his lips and pounded out the licks, Leo Lyons thumped out tremendous bass-lines and stamped around the stage, as if he was treading on red-hot cinders, both of them showing, even on the fast numbers, the remarkable understanding that has grown up between them. Overall, the band’s set was made up by a mixture of old things like, “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” and new ones off of their fourth coming album, with the flavour of the act, mainly frantic and energised rock and roll blues. And the newer numbers were among the best they played,

“Standing At The Station,” featured a highly inventive solo from Chick Churchill on keyboards, though sadly, it was his only one of the night, “Choo – Choo – Mama” was near-enough for straight rock, while the pace slowed down for, “Turned Off T.V. Blues” with Alvin Lee easing back and playing excellently around the standard blues format.


Later, back his hotel, Alvin explained how, in a way, the band were getting back to straight rock n´ blues, especially on their new album called, “Rock And Roll Music To The World”.

On our last album, “A Space In Time”, it was more like Ten Years After playing songs, whereas this one is more second nature stuff. In a way, it’s an attempt to record the band in its most natural form, rather than experiment up a blind alley. And I think the result is perhaps the most positive album that we have done. “After Woodstock, we got a lot of rock and roll exposure, but very little else. So we tried to take the focus off that a bit by making some song, structured albums. Now, having done that, we’re back to rock and roll. “In fact, we didn’t actually plan it that way. It’s just that we had around thirty numbers, and somehow these were the ones that we found most natural. I think, we feel the happiest with this kind of music”.

A new development in Lee’s career is a number of jamming-sessions, of which he’s been part, particularly with Mylon, a gospel singer from Macon, Georgia, Ian Wallace from King Crimson and B.J. Wilson from Procol Harum. He admits that, jamming was something he’s never taken much interest in before. “About a year ago, I would have said, I don’t believe in jamming, because it’s very limiting to play with other musicians who don’t know you and who don’t feel the same way as you do”. And I think that’s still true. If I was playing the kind of music as Ten Years After. But lately I’ve got into playing completely different styles and following them up. “Also, it’s only been in the last year or six months, that the band’s felt any advantage from the success we’ve had. When things start to happen, it’s almost like a whirlpool effect, and almost the last person to realize that you’re established, is yourself”.

But now we feel secure, and we know Ten Years After is not going to break up and we know where we’re at musically. Everybody can branch out and explore different things without feeling bad / guilty, because it isn’t one hundred percent directed towards Ten Years After.

“With the sessions, that  I’ve been doing with Mylon and the others, everybody is playing out of their normal style, and really enjoying it. We’ve got about eight tapes and when we finish our next American tour, I hope to go down to Mylon’s place and finish them off”.

Obviously, Alvin doesn’t feel that these activities pose any threat to the stability of

Ten Years After, and since the band have kept the same line-up so successfully, for such a long time, I wondered what was the secret of staying together. “Really it’s the other way round. I find it difficult to understand how bands don’t stick together,” replied Alvin.

“To me, it seems much easier to really get to know the musicians you’re playing with, rather than fight with each other. “And the music really is of all four of us, not just mine, whatever people may say. Even if I write the words and the chords, once it’s played around in the group, it can change almost completely. “Like if I was to tell Ric how to play, I don’t think that he’d be very satisfied, and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve stayed together.

We can all play our own music and explore our ideas within Ten Years After”.

As for his own position, Alvin Lee isn’t exactly, “Captain Ego” as some would imagine. In fact, he says his role as a “Guitar Hero” at times makes him feel distinctly uncomfortable.

“It’s always really embarrassing  for me to think of myself as a “Rock and Roll Star,” or any other kind of star. “It’s a strange thing, like sooner or later you meet so many people who come up at concerts, all smiling with their autograph books and things, that it gets really strange. In fact, I find it very difficult to relate at all, to an actual fan, because they treat you as something out of the ordinary. “Like most people I meet, whom I’ve never known before always say, “Oh it’s good to meet you, I never realized that you were such a “Nice-Bloke,”.

Where as, it’s not that I’m a “Nice-Bloke,” it’s just no different from normal. Yet people seem to expect you to be something else, and somehow expect you to live up to it. “It can get really weird”.




Chicago Sun Times – October 1, 1972

Ten Years After brings its flashy blues-rock to the Arie Crown Theatre “Park West”  for shows at 7:30 and 10:30 pm Saturday. Also on the bill are Nils Lofgren who opens the concerts. October 7, 1972





1972, October 9 - Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan - Photos by Charlie Auringer








Photo by Charlie Auringer







Photographer: Brian Cooke   https://briancooke.com/



The Release of the 9th TEN YEARS AFTER LP


Rock&Folk, No.69, October 1972, R&RMTTW France


Billboard  Magazine  October  14, 1972



Rock & Roll Music to the World [Columbia, 1972]

I remember when this was a promising group--that Alvin Lee, he sure could sing and play, and those other guys sure did get it together behind him. But in four years and then some, all they've accomplished is to get it together some more. As unslick as ever, they're nevertheless a lot tighter in the commercial sense, and the speed and brevity of such cuts as "Choo Choo Mama" exemplify Alvin Lee's rockabilly approach to blues. On his own terms, this is mature, impressive work. But I suspect that the next time I feel like hearing TYA--in eight months or so--I'll put on Undead. It's pretty crude, but you know about old time's sake.

Robert Christgau, Dean of American Rock Critics







Record Mirror – October 14, 1972

Ten Years After, whose latest album “Rock `n´ Roll Music To The World”, has put them back into the Record Mirror charts, and they are to do two dates at the Rainbow in London, as part of a British Tour, starting in October. The group is currently engaged on their sixteenth American Tour, the band flies back home to open their British engagements at Manchester’s Hard Rock Theatre on October 26th. It will be the band’s first British appearance since headlining at the Reading Festival in August.

Ten Years After- Tour Dates:

Birmingham Town Hall (October 28th), Newcastle Town Hall (29th), Edinburgh, Caley Cinema (30th),
Rainbow (November 2nd and 3rd), Liverpool Stadium (4th), Leicester, De Montford Hall (6th),
Bradford Street – George’s Hall (7th),
Hanley, Victoria Hall (8th)



New  Musical  Express  October  14,  1972




Details Of The Autumn British Concert Tour By Ten Years After – have been finalized – it will mark the outfit’s first appearance in this country since the Reading Festival in August, and their first British Tour since the beginning of the year. Ten Years After will interrupt their Sixteenth American Tour to play here – during the next two weeks, they are appearing on the U.S. East Coast, then they return home for the British Tour prior to flying back to the States for a string of West Coast gigs. On the British Tour, they will be featuring tracks from their newly released album – “Rock And Roll Music To The World”.

The British Dates Are:

Manchester Hard-Rock (October 26th)
Birmingham Town Hall (28th)
Newcastle City Hall (29th)
Edinburgh Empire (30th)
Liverpool Stadium (November 4th)
Leicester De-Montfort (6th)
Bradford St. George’s Hall (7th)
Hanley Victoria Hall (8th).

A venue in London has still to be confirmed, and there is also the possibility of further dates, including an additional Scottish gig.

Support act on all dates will be Frankie Miller, formerly with “Jude” whose debut solo album – on which he is backed by members of Brinsley  Schwartz – is released by Chrysalis on October 27th. He will be accompanied on the tour by a well known group whose identity has not been announced – due to contractual reasons.


TYA on stage - Music Scene 1972






Thursday, October 26th, 1972


New  Musical  Express  October  28, 1972




October 29, 1972  -  Newcastle upon Tyne



October 31, 1972  -  beetle magazine, vol. 4, no. 6



November 1972  -  Musik Express magazine



November 1, 1972 -  BRAVO  German Magazine



Photographer:  Didi Zill





November 9,  1972 at Colston Hall, Bristol





New Musical Express – November 11, 1972

One thing about a Ten Years After gig, is that you know roughly what to expect. It’s unlikely that you’ve seen them since their last tour just under a year ago, but the chances are that you’ll notice many changes in the band, this time round. There are some new numbers, but the formula is much the same and a very successful one at that. They near enough sold out two nights at the Rainbow last week, and on Friday laid down a strong, powerful show which generated the usual Ten Years After fervour from the audience. Personally, I don’t feel they have the credibility to be one of the world’s very top bands, yet as rock and roll bands go, they’re still mighty fine. Basically, you either like them, or you don’t. On Friday they got off to a bit of a slow start, until the third number, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” which got things moving a little. This was followed by what Alvin Lee described as, the self indulged jam that we always get slaughtered for” – which in fact was really quite good, with the occasional touch of jazz coming through at various points. Apart from Alvin Lee’s extroverted guitar work, he proved once again that he is an ace showman, drawing as much spectacle out of the band’s music as is possible, strutting across the stage, pushing his guitar-neck along the mike stand and occasionally substituting his plectrum (guitar pick) for a drum stick, while Leo Lyons, an excellent bass player, and Ric Lee and Chick Churchill concentrated solely on providing the musical backdrop. Much of their material was taken from the new album, but the three numbers that came across most strongly were,

“Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes,” and “Goin´ Home,” are also the three they’ve been playing the longest. That’s not too healthy a reflection on their newer material.

Frankie Miller opened the evening with a brash, soulful set. Backed by Brinsley Schwarz, who also accompanied him on his album, “Once In A Blue Moon” and a couple of other people’s songs. “You Don’t Have To Laugh To Be Happy” is one of his better, self-written tunes. He has loads of potential as a vocalist, but he’ll have to be very careful of his direction.

By James Johnson





24 November 1972



Concert preview




Spectrum, Philadelphia





POPFOTO  Magazine  November 1972








From Disc Magazine 11/25/72

Alvin Lee …Wanted To Stay Together

Alvin Lee is rather like a man amongst boys. Rock, with its temporary nature, is constantly coming up with  fresh faces to titillate the fickle public, but Alvin Lee has survived it all with the help of Leo Lyons, Chick Churchill and Ric Lee, four people dedicated to the furtherance of the music of Ten Years After. We were backstage at Bristol’s Colston Hall after the final gig of TYA’s recent British tour. It was a marvellous gig with “Spoonful” and “Crossroads” brought back into the set after a long absence.  We headed back towards London, veered off at the Reading by-pass and manoeuvred our way through  narrow lanes which ultimately brought us to our destination—a rambling old home, kept in immaculate  repair, set in fifty acres of land.

After listening to some tapes put down in the States, we had an hilarious supper, a bottle of champagne to celebrate Lorraine’s birthday, a couple of tunes played by Alvin on the piano and a lot of fun watching the men play billiards.  TYA have become something of a rock institution. Is there any one thing  that has kept you together? Alvin says: “There are a few things, but the main thing is that we wanted to stay together. It isn’t always easy, but if you look for a way to work problems out rather than split up, it’s much better. All bands have arguments, but we look for a way to work it out.   “Each one of us is free to do what we want, to a degree, and it’s our own music. A lot of people say they are still playing the same way, but that is the style of the band. Breaking up seemed entirely negative to us.”   Yours has been a natural progression as opposed to one that followed the trends. Was that purposeful?   “It has always been part of our policy not to force any progression. In the old days, as it were, all the bands I knew had to play popular numbers, figuring that you would get more work like that, but that was a matter of  doing gigs at the weekend to get some money rather than having any long-term thoughts about playing your own music.  

After a few years, we got to thinking about it and we decided we would best be known for playing the kind of music we liked. “Having been involved with a bit of the Tin Pan Alley side, I really didn’t like it. I used to do guitar sessions and they would tell you what style to play—that you were playing too much—  and it was awful. We decided we were going to be free and play our own music which we did for about a year and a half with no success at all (much laughter), but we still kept at it.” Ten Years After were and still are the most blues-orientated band to find mass acceptance. Why do you think you succeeded where others failed? Alvin replies: “In all fairness, John Mayall was a large inspiration, due to the fact that he was earning a living playing his own kind of music. This gave us a great deal of encouragement to try to do a similar thing on our own level. Mayall’s group was a purist blues band, where as we interpreted the blues in a way which offended the purist. “I think there is a lot of luck involved because  I know a lot of good musicians who are now doing nothing, just because they didn’t have the   perseverance. “You see, the one thing our band had in common when it was rough was that we didn’t have anything else we could do. We didn’t have a trade. The only way I could earn a living was to do a gig in a pub which was all experience anyway.”  

  Do you think Charisma plays an important part?  

“That of course, is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve always liked to believe there wasn’t such a thing but, of course, there is. Take ‘Woodstock’ as an example. After we had been at Woodstock the attitude towards us was entirely different. We seem to have acquired some kind of prestige from being on celluloid. “Some people are totally affected by it and others not at all, and they are the kind of people I can get along with. I can’t get along with people who sit overawed just because you were in a ‘Woodstock’ film.”  

  However, even though you have tried to take the emphasis off yourself by having the rest of the band do solos,  most of the attention is still focused on yourself. Would you agree that some people have more of an aura than others? “Sure. You get a much more positive reaction if you have something that people can either relate to or recognise. For instance, there’s Elvis Presley whom I, as a 13- year old, hero-worshipped. I was totally in an aura which I had made up in my own mind about him, and everything he did was fantastic and there was no knocking it— until I eventually went off him and, in fact hated him. You see, no rationalisation at all. “It could have been because he changed, because I still think his early recordings were incredible. They have so much earthiness—so much country funk, but he then went into that plastic Hollywood pop star game and his music became stereotyped. “ I went to see him in Las Vegas and he was like an Elvis Presley impersonator. He really overdid himself.

  “I think if he had just played his own music instead of relating to all those other images, he would have been better off —commercially as well. To get any lasting pleasure, you have to believe in what you do. You should take it seriously. “With Ten Years After, the thing is I don’t lead it. I may stand at the front and write the songs, but I don’t tell anyone what to play. It’s the music of four people and it grows itself and finds its own level.”  

  Your guitar style has become very distinctive. Did this happen gradually?  

“It was very gradual. Originally, all my phrases were either made up or copied off records—most of them I adapted from other things. Very few of them were original. But the more I played them the more I twisted  them around and other people brought my attention to it. “I would say ‘I played this solo just like it was on the record’ and they’d say ‘it’s nothing like it’ and play the record. It would have changed without my  noticing it.

  “However, I did become aware that my own style was developing—in fact, I got really paranoid as to what  I should do if I didn’t because I didn’t really know what I was doing. I figured it was a matter of listening to good records, picking things up, adding to them and interpreting them my own way.”  This follow-through attitude you have towards your music also seems to apply to your interest in  electronic music and photography. Is it true of you generally?  Alvin says: “It’s nice to think you think that, but the only thing I believe is that if you want to do something or be involved in it, then you have to learn all the angles about it. “Even if you want to run a sweet shop, there’s a right way to do it. It’s a help just talking to people who know something about it, but best of all  is actually doing it. “It’s one thing to think something out perfectly, but doing it is something else. “I’ve always basically  been a thinker and I’ve had to adapt to doing. What I do have is the ability to be involved one hundred percent.” We haven’t had a “live” album from TYA since “Undead.” Can we expect another one? “That’s on. We’ve avoided another ‘live’ album for the same reason we’ve avoided putting slow blues’ numbers on recent albums—because it seemed too easy. It just didn’t seem right to put down an album in one evening instead of working for three months in a studio. “However, I’m convinced that it would be a good time to do one now and we’re going to record with the Stones’ mobile studio which we tested out on ‘Rock and Roll Music to the World’.

  “We’re going to record four dates on the Continent in January and mix the tapes in Los Angeles where  there are good studios for mixing. “If it turns out all right, then we’ll definitely release it. That’s our next plan.”  

  What about the U.S. hysteria that followed “Woodstock.” Has it eased up? 

  “That kind of flashed up and flashed off really. It was a bit of mass media exposure  and it went the way I always figured it would—just a flash in the pan.”    

Author Unknown  




7 December 1972       Forum Inglewood, Los Angeles  -  Photographer: Frédéric Golchan





 8 December 1972  -  Leicester Chronicle








13 December 1972 -  Hollywood Palladium





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